Thursday, August 24, 2017

AB de Villiers quits as South Africa ODI captain, but commits to all formats

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has stood down as South Africa one-day captain after six years to concentrate on playing in all three formats of the international game.

The 33-year-old has not been available for Test matches this year but is keen to represent his country after giving up his leadership duties.

South Africa could turn to Faf du Plessis, who is already skipper of the Test and T20 teams, with De Villiers concentrating on adding to his 106 Test match appearances, 222 ODIs and 76 T20 games for his country. There had been speculation De Villiers was set to retire from Test cricket after his enforced break but he is keen to return to the longer format of the international game.

In a statement released by Cricket South Africa, De Villiers said: "A lot has been said and written over the past 12 months and I feel it is time to make my position absolutely clear. Over the past year or so, I have tried to manage many commitments. I have felt mentally and physically tired. My wife and I are bringing up two fantastic kids and playing in all three formats ever since 2004 has taken its toll. Together with Cricket South Africa, we have tried to develop a viable schedule which allows me to prolong my career for as long as possible.

"This strategy has prompted some people to say I am picking and choosing when to play for the Proteas, and even to suggest I am somehow putting myself before the team. That is simply not true. That has never been true.

"Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life. It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support.

"Lastly, if I am lucky enough to be selected, I can't guarantee runs and catches. Nobody can do that.

But what I can absolutely guarantee is 100% commitment to the Proteas in every format of the game, as and when required. That was my promise when I made my debut in 2004 and that is my promise today."

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